Northern Ireland international midfielder Corry Evans and rising goalkeeping star Ollie Byrne gave this afternoon's Blackburn Rovers Sports College training session an added shot of professionalism as they came to participate, observe and advise for the benefit of our young learners.
Players from the ladies' squad and men’s C team on the Blackburn Rovers Community Trust BTEC in Sport programme enjoyed welcoming the Rovers duo to their regular two-hour Tuesday session, with the usual mix of tactical drills, skills training and fitness work supplemented by having two current professionals joining in to offer the wisdom of their experiences.
Having played in a small sided game and offered a pep talk with the ladies squad, the players moved on to join in with the men as they ran through tactical drills, before answering questions from both squads in order to help pass on advice that may help each player to become an even better footballer.
The session was observed by Professional Footballers Association representative Stephen Raynor, who came along to the Blackburn Rovers Indoor Centre and took a keen interest in how the professional pair were able to offer a great input into what is believed to be the biggest BTEC course operated by any football club in our region.
Dan Maynard, the Community Trust's education and sports tutor who coordinated the visit, was delighted with how it went, explaining:
"It's a great gesture from Ollie and Corry to give up their afternoon to come and inspire our players and a big boost for everyone that will benefit from the appearance.
"There was an added buzz to training knowing that there was a chance to impress in front of two players who could definitely offer some astute advice and support based on what they saw, so it was a very beneficial afternoon all round.
"Hopefully any current year 11 pupils at local high schools who have seen this opportunity today will recognise that Blackburn Rovers Sports College is a great place to learn and potentially enjoy opportunities that may not be presented to them at other educational establishments."
If you'd like to know more about the opportunity of training with - and learning from - current professionals, why not visit the next Blackburn Rovers Sports College open night on Thursday 15th November at 6pm in the Darwen End at Ewood Park?
For more information, please call 01254 508124 or visit the BRSC / BTEC in Sport information page on the Community Trust website by clicking here.